FERC Sets Technical Conference to Assess COVID-19 Impacts on Energy Industry
By: William Keyser, Sandra Safro, Patrick Metz and Abraham Johns
On May 20, 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) announced that it will hold a technical conference to discuss the impact on the energy industry of emergency conditions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference will take place July 8-9, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Preregistration for the conference is available at: http://www.ferc.gov/whats-new/registration/07-07-20-form.asp. FERC will issue a supplemental notice that includes the conference agenda in a proceeding opened in Docket No. AD20-17-000.
The Commission plans to use the conference to assess the ongoing impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on parts of the U.S. energy industry. While the Commission already enacted short-term regulatory relief actions for regulated entities, the conference will explore long-term options for safeguarding the nation’s energy markets, electric transmission system, natural gas and oil transportation, and future operation of energy infrastructure.
In addition, FERC intends for the event to serve as a public forum for the Commission and stakeholders to address the recovery of the industry from the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will afford the public an opportunity to receive high-level information about how COVID-19 may change the energy industry moving forward.
Among the topics the Commission plans to cover in panels and discussions are: (1) ongoing and future operational and planning challenges due to COVID-19; (2) operations, planning, and infrastructure development impacts anticipated due to the effect of COVID-19 on electric demand; (3) operations, planning, and infrastructure development impacts anticipated due to the effect of COVID-19 on natural gas and oil demand; and (4) anticipated issues related to access to capital, such as credit, liquidity, and return on equity.
Further information about the event will be posted on the Calendar of Events webpage for the event. K&L Gates will continue to monitor for updates from the Commission about the conference.